Time Out: How Sport Has Influenced Watch Designs

Time Out: How Sport Has Influenced Watch Designs

As any athlete (or spectator) can tell you, a few seconds can make all the difference between winning and losing in sports. So it’s only natural that professional sports have shaped the horology landscape with watches built specifically for use during competitions. From yachting and polo to golf and soccer, we touch base with four luxury watches built to compete in sports.

How Sport Has Influenced Watch Designs: Rolex Yacht-Master II

Rolex Yacht-Master II

While the original Rolex Yacht-Master collection is geared more towards those who enjoy a leisurely and stylish life at sea, the Yacht-Master II was specially developed for competitive sailors. Housed within the large 44 mm Oyster case of the Yacht-Master II is a programmable flyback regatta chronograph, which yacht skippers can use to time when to cross the starting line. What’s more, to set the countdown timer, you must turn the “Ring Command” bezel sitting on top of the watch, making the bright blue ceramic bezel an integral part of the design and the functionality of the Yacht-Master II. One of Rolex’s most mechanically sophisticated and assertively designed models to date, the Yacht-Master II has plenty of fans outside the nautical niche too.

How Sport Has Influenced Watch Designs: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

In the 1930s, British officers stationed in Colonial India would partake in the sport of polo during their downtime. Known as the “Sport of Kings”, the game is much more rough and dangerous as its elegant nickname suggests and oftentimes, the officers’ wristwatches wouldn’t survive a game. Thanks to a series of events beginning with Swiss businessman, César de Trey, taking a trip to India and ending with a patented rectangular swivel case housing a LeCoultre movement, the iconic Reverso watch was born in 1931. Designed so that the watch case could flip to hide the dial so that the strong steel caseback would face outward during a match, the clever Reverso watch eventually outgrew its intended audience to become Jaeger-LeCoultre’s flagship model.

How Sport Has Influenced Watch Designs: RIchard Mille RM 038 Bubba Watson

Richard Mille RM Bubba Watson

Although most pro golfers take off their luxury watches before they head out to the course, not Bubba Watson—a left-handed player famous for his long drives. That’s because Richard Mille designed a series of watches for Bubba Watson to wear while playing golf. It starts with the 2011 Richard Mille RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson, which flaunts lightness, extreme shock resistance, and comfort. Following this was the 2014 RM 38-01 Tourbillon G-Sensor Bubba Watson equipped with a g-sensor that can record up to 20-g of acceleration during a golf swing. These days, the two-time Masters winner sports the ceramic, titanium and rubber RM 055 Bubba Watson on his wrist.

How Sport Has Influenced Watch Designs: Hublot Big Bang RefereePhoto Credit: Hublot 

Hublot Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Since 2010, Hublot has been the Official Timekeeper of the FIFA World Cup and for the 2018 event in Russia, Hublot unveiled their first smartwatch. However, rather than a watch for the players, the Hublot Big Bang Referee watches with 49 mm titanium cases and Google’s Wear OS were destined for the officials on the field to monitor match times. Limited to just 2,018 pieces, football (soccer) fans could also join in on the fun by taking advantage of features like national color dials, kick-off reminders, and plenty of player and game statistics to pore over.

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